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Divorce for Tiger Woods ... as Elin gets at least £78m

Tiger Woods and his wife Elin Nordegren were divorced yesterday — nine months after his personal and professional life imploded amid disclosures of extramarital affairs.

Both attended Bay County Circuit Court in Panama City, Florida, so that the agreement could be executed.

Details of the financial settlement Ms Nordegren will receive were not disclosed but estimates ranged from $100m (£78m) to $750m (£590m).

Experts said the settlement could be one of the largest in celebrity history, dwarfing the $168m (£108.2m) paid by Michael Jordan, the basketball player, to his former wife Juanita.

In a statement, Woods and Ms Nordegren said: “We are sad that our marriage is over and we wish each other the very best for the future.

“While we are no longer married, we are the parents of two wonderful children and their happiness has been, and will always be, of paramount importance to both of us.

“Once we came to the decision that our marriage was at an end, the primary focus of our amicable discussions has been to ensure their future wellbeing.”

The couple have two sons, Sam Alexis (3) and one-year-old Charlie Axel.

A source close to Ms Nordegren (30) said: “She's feeling OK about all this. She's been through hell but handled herself with such dignity. And now she's got a whole new life ahead of her.”

Tiger's squeaky clean image was shattered, along with his marriage, when it was revealed in November 2009 that he had engaged in an affair with New York club hostess Rachel Uchitel.

Over a dozen more women subsequently came forward to claim affairs with Woods.

He promptly went into hiding, appearing three months later at a Press conference where he apologised for his infidelities and announced he was seeking treatment for sex addiction.

In a televised statement in February he admitted being unfaithful and said he had been “selfish and stupid”.

Woods then took a break from golf and committed to working at his marriage, but Ms Nordegren was said to have been furious over a television advertisement he filmed for Nike.

It featured Woods looking directly into the camera without speaking, with a recording of his late father Earl saying: “Did you learn anything?”

At the time, a source said: “Elin was violently angry over this commercial and thought it was a cheesy thing to do.”

She was also said to have thought her husband would take more time off before returning to the course.

Ms Nordegren had accompanied Woods to counselling in recent months but was spotted without her wedding ring in public.

A lifetime confidentiality clause reportedly bans the one-time nanny from writing any books about her life with the golf superstar, or granting interviews to the media.

Damage limitation has been an expensive business for Woods, who paid Ms Uchitel millions of dollars to cancel a planned Press conference in December and sign a confidentiality agreement.

The official divorce announcement revealed that at least nine attorneys were involved in negotiating the settlement with Ms Nordegren.

In addition, recent months have seen Woods dropped by several of the sponsors who have provided the bulk of his lifetime earnings, which are estimated at a little over a billion dollars.

He lost at least $35m in annual earnings from companies such as Accenture, the accountancy firm which decided in December that his status no longer fitted their corporate image.

On course, Woods has also been struggling. He performed well at the Masters in April, his return to professional golf, but has since been inconsistent and recently completed his worst ever tournament on the US PGA circuit, finishing in virtually last place at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational this month, finishing 18 over par after four rounds.

He has not won a major since 2008, and is no longer on course to be automatically selected for October's Ryder Cup, which will take place in Wales.

Belfast Telegraph

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